“What if bad fat isn’t so bad?” This is the title of an article I came across recently from MSNBC and the subtitle stated: “No one’s ever proved that saturated fat clogs arteries, causes heart disease“. That sounds like health blasphemy, right? But I am living proof that it’s not. Why? Because I quit eating sugar and greatly increased fat in my diet and the results are completely the opposite of what we’re told will happen if you eat a diet that’s high in fat, including saturated fats. After years of trying to eat a low-fat diet and struggling to lower my cholesterol, the results were that I was always hungry, which caused me to eat more food, my weight steadily climbed higher every year, and my cholesterol continued to rise, regardless of how healthy I tried to eat. The truth is, since adopting a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet (think Atkins Diet)–which is exactly the opposite of the “low-fat, healthy whole-grains” diet that most doctors, public health officials, and health-regulating government bodies promote–my weight dropped over 20 pounds and I have not struggled to keep it off. Also, I’m not always hungry, as I was on a low-fat diet. My cholesterol levels have improved dramatically. And finally, I feel great.
The Truth About Low-Fat Diets
One good thing about eating a low-fat diet is that you reduce your intake of sugar which helps with weight loss, but otherwise, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. But how did the unhealthy low-fat diet ever get accepted as the healthiest diet on the planet?
If I’m going to cut sugar out of my diet, I need to be clear about what I mean by “sugar”. So I thought I’d explore this topic a little and figure out what the heck I mean when I say I’m “quitting sugar”. So here goes…
The Many Faces of Sugar
A quick search on planet Google, gave me some food for thought. The first form of sugar that I think of when I say “sugar” is granulated table sugar. Here’s what Wikipedia says about sugar:
“Sugar is a term for a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor. In food, sugars refer to all monosaccharides and disaccharides present in food, but excludes polyols, while in its singular form, sugar normally refers to sucrose, which in its fully refined (or free sugar) form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet, though is present in natural form in many carbohydrates. Other free sugars are used in industrial food preparation, but are usually known by more specific names—glucose, fructose or fruit sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc.”
That’s a pretty good place to start, but how relevant will all of that be when I’m in a grocery store trying to decipher the nutrition labels I’m reading?